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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Matt Kemp ‘won’t accept’ bench role

The Dodgers might go into the 2014 season with four every-day options for three outfield spots, but one of those players now has made his stance crystal clear. Matt Kemp said he’s not a bench player.

“I’m not a fourth outfielder. We can cut that off right there,” Kemp said. “I won’t accept that role. I can’t accept that role.”

Kemp is right; he doesn’t spend time on the bench. He spends all his time on the DL.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 15, 2014 at 02:08 AM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   1. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: February 15, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4657298)
Operation Shutdown is still going strong.
   2. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4657315)
In OotP, when players start ######## about playing time, I send them to rookie ball. I wish they had real feelings.
   3. donlock Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4657317)
He is retiring, voiding his contract, what?
   4. boteman digs the circuit clout Posted: February 15, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4657320)
We can cut that off right there


...said Ripley to the android bishop!
   5. jingoist Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4657321)
#1
And we all know how well that turned out for Bell in the years that followed.
   6. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4657324)
"He's not a fourth outfielder. He's not," Colletti said.

However, the GM emphasized the importance of depth through injuries and slumps.

"We've also got 162 games, and we've got to get everybody healthy and ready to play," he said. "There may be one guy sitting here and there, if everybody's healthy. Did we have everybody healthy last year?"


Colletti was close. The right answer is.

"He's not a fourth outfielder. He's not," Colletti said. "But if he plays like he he did last year, his ass is sitting on the bench and we will be getting him a pink uniform."
   7. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4657325)
I’m not a fourth outfielder. We can cut that off right there,” Kemp said. “I won’t accept that role. I can’t accept that role.”


You can do two things about it, Matt. You can demonstrate by your play that you deserve to start everyday or you can retire. Choose one.
   8. Dale Sams Posted: February 15, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4657338)
Carl Crawford is reported to have said, "I will fight tooth and nail for my spot on the DL".
   9. ckash Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4657342)
Between DL trips and DHing in inter league games all 4 of the Dodgers OFs should get 450 or so PAs. I don't see Crawford, Ethier or Kemp playing more than 120 games anyway cause of their injury histories. Hell Joc Pederson may get 200 or so at bats as well given the potential that 2 of those guys go down at the same time or are on the DL for a while.
   10. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4657346)
[9] Ethier got hurt at the end of last year, but has been mostly durable in his career. His games and PA have been a bit low in recent years due to getting platooned.
   11. puck Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4657347)
In OotP, when players start ######## about playing time, I send them to rookie ball.

They must put up pretty good numbers once they get over the shock.
   12. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 15, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4657354)
I'd also be slightly surprised if Kemp is able to get 450 PAs just because of how brittle he has become. There wasn't just some fluke injury last year that knocked him out half the season; he got DL inducing injuries on five separate occasions!

I wonder if PECOTA projects the Kemp to play a full season. That's the only way I can think of them projecting the Dodgers for 98 wins.
   13. Baldrick Posted: February 15, 2014 at 03:35 PM (#4657393)
I understand the snark here, but I really don't have any problem with comments like this. It's possible that he's threatening to blow up the clubhouse or something if he gets stuck on the bench. But I really just think he's saying "I am a superstar and I'm going to play like one. There is no chance that I will just accept sitting on the bench and earning 20 million dollars. I expect to be worth that money."

Also, is there really any chance that they would sit a healthy Kemp? His problem is staying on the field - not poor production when he gets there. Even a 'bad' 2013 was still fine.
   14. McCoy Posted: February 15, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4657400)
If Matt Kemp is better and healthier than Carl Crawford he'll start. Plain and simple.
   15. Boileryard Posted: February 15, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4657406)
In OotP, when players start ######## about playing time, I send them to rookie ball. I wish they had real feelings.

I just ignore them as it doesn't seem to make much difference in OOTP. My backup catcher/first baseman has complained about his playing time for years to no avail. Despite his very high intelligence rating, he signed a five-year/$5 million (total) contract extension with me that bought out his three arbitration years and first two years of free agency. He's probably regretting that one.

As for why I would sign a backup to a five-year contract, he's a good defensive catcher with excellent speed, stealing and baserunning ratings. He's a very useful guy to have around as a pinch-runner for my catcher or first baseman in the late innings. I'm going to try keeping him around as long as I can, no matter how much he complains about his role.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: February 15, 2014 at 05:33 PM (#4657430)
he's a good defensive catcher with excellent speed, stealing and baserunning ratings. He's a very useful guy to have around as a pinch-runner for my catcher or first baseman in the late innings.


Is there any player in real life that has ever answered to this description?
   17. Boileryard Posted: February 15, 2014 at 05:51 PM (#4657434)
Is there any player in real life that has ever answered to this description?

Probably not. It's also pretty rare in OOTP, which is why I traded for the guy while he was still in the low minors.

If this guy existed in real life, he likely would've been moved to the outfield or one of the middle infield spots at some point. In OOTP, however, moving a catcher to one of those positions is almost impossible.
   18. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 15, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4657439)
Is there any player in real life that has ever answered to this description?


When. I hear base stealing catcher I think John Wathan or John Stearns. I remember both as backup catchers but don't recall their defense at all.
   19. BDC Posted: February 15, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4657447)
Jason Kendall when young was consistently a very good baserunner and base stealer, as well as excellent defensively, but of course he was a starter. A catcher like that would certainly start unless for some odd reason he couldn't hit.

Historically, Ray Schalk wasn't much of a hitter, but could really motor and was a fine defender. He's in the Hall of Fame :)
   20. Lars6788 Posted: February 15, 2014 at 06:51 PM (#4657449)
I'm with #13 - to add, this isn't Operation Shutdown but Kemp is defiant that he's been called brittle and there might be a timeshare in the Dodgers outfield.

I think his follow up quote were his fellow outfielders felt the same way and they'd be damned if they were going to sit on the bench for someone else, meaning they are going to make it a competition and play as hard as they can to be one of regular outfielders.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: February 15, 2014 at 07:04 PM (#4657451)
Wathan did play some first base! And he was a backup for years. So, he's closer than anyone I can think of.
   22. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 15, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4657452)
Stearns was a starter for nearly his entire career, Jose.
   23. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 15, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4657454)
Stearns was a starter for nearly his entire career, Jose.


Well cross him off the list :-)

In my defense I wouldn't have really noticed him until his less regular days of the early 80s. Looking at his career what happened to him after 1982? He played semi-regularly that year and played well but just vanished. I assume he got hurt somehow.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: February 15, 2014 at 07:11 PM (#4657455)
This SABR biography of Wathan is great! For one thing, he sounds almost exactly like Boileryard's fictional player, a plus defensive C/1B with excellent speed who was primarily a bench player. For another, his step-brother murdered his mother in the streets of San Diego with an antique saber. That crime inspired Werner Herzog's movie My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, which has been on my list for a while.
   25. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 15, 2014 at 07:21 PM (#4657460)
I assume he got hurt somehow.

That's pretty much what I remember. FWIW, Ron Hodges was the backup for most of Stearns' tenure. (No, he wasn't fast.)
   26. zachtoma Posted: February 15, 2014 at 08:08 PM (#4657464)
He won't sit on the bench because he's at least their second best outfielder. His 2011 was leagues beyond anything Puig has accomplished, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him swing back towards that level, but you have to be worried about his last year and a half health-wise (and I'm pretty confident that any productivity issues have been related). If he's healthy he plays, I can't believe this is even up for discussion. Ethier is the guy who should be worried about his job.
   27. Publius Publicola Posted: February 15, 2014 at 08:09 PM (#4657465)
For another, his step-brother murdered his mother in the streets of San Diego with an antique saber. That crime inspired Werner Herzog's movie My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, which has been on my list for a while.


That's one of the most bizarre things I have ever read.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: February 15, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4657470)
As opposed to a saber he just bought at Walmart?

Biggio wasn't too good with the defense (and was a starting C). Young Pudge II stole quite a few bases, Bench was no slouch either.

Actually I am stunned and embarrassed to discover that Pudge I has more career steals than Pudge II by one. P-I also IDs Surhoff. Ausmus had 102 career steals and Santiago has 91, same as Stearns -- again both starters most of their career. Russell Martin, Pena and McCarver also not slouches.

As to backups, other than Wathan, the closest seems to be Charlie Moore (more of a half-time guy), Mike Heath (really?) and Miguel Olivo (double really? also a pretty regular starter).
   29. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4657612)
Looked up Moore and Heath to check my hazy memory, then saw that Walt beat me to it. Both could fill in at any of the four corners but didn't really play much first. Moore was below 50% as a basestealer. Not sure about defense behind the plate but I recall Heath being OK late in his career. As mentioned above, this is a tough combo at the MLB level. Mike Squires if he'd been a righty? JR Phillips if he could run a little better?
   30. BDC Posted: February 16, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4657630)
B-Ref pulls up a former first-round draft pick named Tom Donohue, who came up with the Angels organization in the 1970s as an outfielder, then converted to catching when he was basically unable to get on base very much, despite speed and power. He eventually played in Anaheim as a backup catcher in 1979 and then briefly as a starter when Brian Downing was hurt in 1980. He was 7-for-8 as a base stealer in the majors, in 122 games, and hit 2 triples.

B-Ref is awesome :)
   31. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 16, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4657663)
While speaking of odd players, I once tried to figure out if there was a real player who was to the major leagues what I was to Little League. Which was "outfielder/second baseman who could walk but not hit, and was awkward but surprisingly fast".

Answer: Lance Blankenship.
   32. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4657735)
Is there any player in real life that has ever answered to this description?


How was Eli Marrero's defense?
   33. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: February 16, 2014 at 03:53 PM (#4657740)
Marrero was more of a guy that got moved from catcher to outfield then a long-term sub like Moore or Heath. Not sure if he was moved because of his defense. Also, Ben Petrick, but he was never any good.

(I meant Jason Phillips above, not JR, and he doesn't count because he couldn't run.)
   34. Greg K Posted: February 16, 2014 at 05:09 PM (#4657764)
As for why I would sign a backup to a five-year contract, he's a good defensive catcher with excellent speed, stealing and baserunning ratings. He's a very useful guy to have around as a pinch-runner for my catcher or first baseman in the late innings. I'm going to try keeping him around as long as I can, no matter how much he complains about his role.

I've got a Korean fellow named Ji-Man Choi in AAA who is about to take over that role for me.

It's my first real run through an OOTP game, all kinds of fun. Kyuji Fujikawa retired a month ago because he had to serve a 6 year sentence for his role in a pension fraud scam. In 2013 Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey were both forced into retirement due to skull fractures.
   35. FrankM Posted: February 16, 2014 at 08:53 PM (#4657820)
In OotP, when players start ######## about playing time, I send them to rookie ball. I wish they had real feelings.

I had this utility infielder who was always sending me notes about how much he enjoyed playing for me. So I kept re-signing him.
   36. base ball chick Posted: February 17, 2014 at 01:21 AM (#4657882)
biggio wasn't pudge or bench, but he was a good solid defended and he wasn't moved from catcher because he was a shtty catcher

ausmus was a good baserunner - he didn't steal more because his managers weren't into basestealing much - and phil garner was a much bigger fan of the hitnrun (which almost never worked). he also did a surprisingly decent job when he had to play at second or first (during one of those unending extrainning games that one of the relievers was always getting us into back in 04 - 06)
   37. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 01:26 AM (#4657886)
Wait, players send you guys notes in OOTP? That never happens to me except as a reminder that a player's on his contract year.

I usually have several guys on the team who are marked as ANGRY about their Role On Team, but are overall happy anyway so long as the team keeps winning 100+ games a year. But those players don't spam me with emails ######## about riding the bench, and I've always wish they would, if they had a high Greed, low Desire to Win, low Loyalty type of personality at least. It would make me dislike them more and more inclined to trade them away.

I'm certain that, for instance, if the Dodgers did make Kemp the fourth outfielder and play him two or three times a week, Ned would have to deal with two angry phone calls and one angry email per day every day from Kemp's agent until the situation was rectified.

In 2013 Andrew McCutchen and Buster Posey were both forced into retirement due to skull fractures.


This happened to Mike Trout for me :( And in 2016 Jurickson Profar, already an all-star shortstop, retired after blowing out his ACL. I guess the surgeon ###### up and he developed some kind of ligament-eating infection or something.
   38. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 17, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4657888)
While speaking of odd players, I once tried to figure out if there was a real player who was to the major leagues what I was to Little League. Which was "outfielder/second baseman who could walk but not hit, and was awkward but surprisingly fast".


Wow, that is EXACTLY the kind of Little League player I was too (though I only ever started one game at second base). Is this a common type of Little League player? Probably is; with your average Little League pitching even a kid who can't hit a lick can post a .600 OBP by standing there and only occasionally swinging, especially if he's short.

I used to ignore the bunt sign about twice a game (I hated bunting because I sucked at it and half the time would hurt my fingers trying). I wasn't what you'd call a coaches' favorite. But it's their own damn fault for trying to make a kid bunt who's going to walk at least half the time if you leave him alone, in my opinion.
   39. bobm Posted: February 17, 2014 at 01:32 AM (#4657889)
biggio wasn't pudge or bench

But would he accept 'bench role'? :-)
   40. base ball chick Posted: February 17, 2014 at 02:05 AM (#4657895)
bobm

oh HAIL no
not even at the end when he had NO business playing in away games, especially after he got to be mr 3000 - he really hurt the team
but he wanted to play and the owner wanted him to play and they you go
   41. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: February 17, 2014 at 02:13 AM (#4657897)
outfielder/second baseman who could walk but not hit, and was awkward but surprisingly fast


Skip Schumaker?
   42. Boileryard Posted: February 17, 2014 at 08:12 AM (#4657913)
Wait, players send you guys notes in OOTP? That never happens to me except as a reminder that a player's on his contract year.

I usually have several guys on the team who are marked as ANGRY about their Role On Team, but are overall happy anyway so long as the team keeps winning 100+ games a year. But those players don't spam me with emails ######## about riding the bench, and I've always wish they would, if they had a high Greed, low Desire to Win, low Loyalty type of personality at least. It would make me dislike them more and more inclined to trade them away.

Messages about roles and playing time happen with some regularity, but it seems that the player's overall morale has to be low (very unhappy or angry) in order to trigger it. The player will usually give you a warning or two before he demands a trade, which often generates a news story.

Most of the complaints I've received are from relief pitchers who expect to be the closer. Sometimes I'll assign the closer role to two pitchers (preferably a lefty and a righty) in order to keep everyone happy. They don't seem to notice the fact that I often bring them into the game in non-save situations.

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